So, one enterprising morning I toiled away in the backyard rototilling a section of grass which died over the summer. We purchased a "manual" rototiller for our garden (aka small spaces), and this space looked about 6'x13'. While toiling away, I heard a strange knocking sound... Strange indeed. Throwing caution into the wind, I grabbed my shovel to find whatever treasures lie beneath.
Eventually, I uncovered a 6'x13' concrete slab. With more poking, I chipped a small hole... A hole big enough to reveal a cavern below going down about 6', and mostly full of water. Cool! A hidden in-door swimming pool... Or maybe a dungeon for my next D&D adventure... Or, an old septic tank not properly abandoned... After a few phone calls to the city and a visit by some who actually knows what they're looking at, it turned out to be a old septic tank.
Great. Now what?
The proper protocol for abandoning a septic tanks involves a few steps.
- Pump out the raw sewage. Thankfully already done, the only water in the tank came from rain.
- Poke a couple holes in the bottom of the tank to let future rain water seep into the ground.
- Collapse the lid into the tank. See the video below for the fun.
- Fill the tank in. Oregon requires either sand or pea gravel... at $29 yard.
- Add new top soil and re-seed.
We're on step 4. I put an ad on Craigslist hoping someone bought too much of either sand or pea gravel. So, next weekend Jessi and I get to move about 14 yards of soil. According to WeatherSpark there should only be off and on rain. The good news? We get to buy a new toys: a wheelbarrow and flat point shovel.